Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail, in a letter to the new Administration, explained why the Purple Line is transit that hurts transit and does not – and cannot – meet federal criteria for funding. The letter also presented new information that further strengthens the many reasons why alternatives should now be given a fresh look through a new or supplemental environmental impact statement.

–The exhorbitantly expensive and wasteful Purple Line would suck resources away from existing and planned transit and transportation services in the area and region, including bus routes and service level (some of which are already being cut), regional train service (Maryland plan to raid MARC fare revenue to pay for Purple Line debt), and more, at the County as well as State level;

–Metro’s decline continues, as reported daily in the news, with reductions in service, diversions of funds, and an increased need for capital and operational funds.

–In Prince George’s County, the Purple Line would “frustrate Prince George’s growth and land use goals and hinder WMATA’s ability to coordinate and deliver effective regional transportation services”, as stated in a recently filed Administrative Procedures Act petition to the FTA from attorney, “Urbanist” blogger and analyst Bradley Heard, who is based in Prince George’s County.  This is a petition with legal teeth, which could further strengthen the Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail lawsuit.

–Transportation law requires that before awarding any federal funds for “fixed guideway” projects like the Purple Line, the US DOT Secretary must find that:

” . . . local resources are available to recapitalize, maintain, and operate the overall existing and proposed public transportation system,”  without any reduction in service  (49 U.S.C. § 5309(f)(1).  

This is certainly not the case for the Purple Line, given Metro’s serious decline and the strains on other existing public transportation services in the metropolitan and Maryland’s suburban region into which the Purple Line would connect.

For the full letter/Administrative Procedures Act petition to Secretary Chao setting forth the reasons to withhold federal funding for the Purple Line or, at a minimum, to reassess the project and alternatives through a new or supplemental impact statement, click here.

For the APA petition from Bradley Heard in Prince George’s County click here.

For the letter from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources regarding Purple Line construction and protection of the Barred Owl and other early nesting birds during nesting season,click here.